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a1surf.com speaks with Groundswell founders

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a1surf.com speaks with Groundswell founders


Earlier this year Chris Thomson and Pete Hughes set up a not-for-profit organisation called ‘Ground Swell‘, with the aim of helping young surfers in Britain.
A few months later Ground Swell has got several young surfers signed up and involved in projects.
It’s also gathering support from the surf industry (including A1Surf.com). David from a1surf.com interviewed Chris and Pete to find out more about this fantastic organisation and how it can benefit all young surfers in this country…

1. What are the aims of Ground Swell?
Our aims are to provide fresh opportunities for young people using surfing as our backbone. This can be anything from help with setting up in business, funded overseas coaching trips, free advanced contest surf coaching, video editing courses, CV building, free training as Beach Lifeguards and Surf Coaches and so much more. regardless of financial, social and cultural backgrounds.

2. When was Ground Swell launched?
In its current form Ground Swell was launched last year, but Pete and I have run a number of free surf coaching and life skills trips to Spain and Lanzarote over the last few years. The concept was to make these trips free so that more young surfers would be able to travel, and be coached overseas when they typically may not have been able to have afford them.

3. Why did you decide to launch Ground Swell?
We both felt that surfing can provide a perfect catalyst to new ideas, experiences and opportunities. We both have very different skills, and when combined it was the perfect match to set something like this up.

4. How many members do you have currently?
We currently have 71 members on our own Social Network site www.ground-swell.co.uk

5.You have recently achieved CIC status. What does this mean for Ground Swell?
As a Community Interest Company we are a non-profit making company and all our documents are public. We wanted to set up in this way from the start so we had total clarity over how we operated. I personally think you need this when working in the way that we are.

6. Who else is helping you to run it?
We have a board of members; this includes me, Pete, Josh Hughes and Ben Jones. But it is really up to our members to let us know what they want to do, and if they need help with anything, we are simply there to get the ball rolling.

7. Tell us about some of the current projects and also ones you have planned for the future?
Since the start of the year we have run a number of free advanced coaching sessions with top pro surfer Micah Lester, run all girls youth trips to Spain, trained people to become surf coaches and beach lifeguards, we have had video editing workshops in Plymouth for the guys and girls to edit their own surf DVD and a trip over to France.

The list of future projects is endless and getting bigger all the time! We have just helped launch a new Social Marketing company called Verb, which has been set up by one of our members. We will guide and nurture the business through its first few years. The best thing is it is all free for our members, so the boundaries of finance and social backgrounds are blown away.

8. Are the members just for young surfers from the South West?
Members are under 25 years old, male and female and from all over Europe.

9. Are you looking for support from surf businesses? If so, what help are you looking for?
We are looking for partnerships in and outside of the surf industry, so if companies want to offer work experience placement, or need surf coaches or would simply like to support the foundation then we would welcome that.

10. How do people join Ground Swell?
Easy, it costs nothing and you can join us on Facebook or better still on our own Ground Swell network which is www.ground-swell.co.uk. The only thing we ask of our members is that they bring some great ideas and dreams to the table!

Earlier this year Chris Thomson and Pete Hughes set up a not-for-profit organisation called ‘Ground Swell’, with the aim of helping young surfers in Britain.
A few months later Ground Swell has got several young surfers signed up and involved in projects.
It’s also gathering support from the surf industry (including A1Surf.com). David from a1surf.com interviewed Chris and Pete to find out more about this fantastic organisation and how it can benefit all young surfers in this country…

1. What are the aims of Ground Swell?
Our aims are to provide fresh opportunities for young people using surfing as our backbone. This can be anything from help with setting up in business, funded overseas coaching trips, free advanced contest surf coaching, video editing courses, CV building, free training as Beach Lifeguards and Surf Coaches and so much more. regardless of financial, social and cultural backgrounds.

2. When was Ground Swell launched?
In its current form Ground Swell was launched last year, but Pete and I have run a number of free surf coaching and life skills trips to Spain and Lanzarote over the last few years. The concept was to make these trips free so that more young surfers would be able to travel, and be coached overseas when they typically may not have been able to have afford them.

3. Why did you decide to launch Ground Swell?
We both felt that surfing can provide a perfect catalyst to new ideas, experiences and opportunities. We both have very different skills, and when combined it was the perfect match to set something like this up.

4. How many members do you have currently?
We currently have 71 members on our own Social Network site www.ground-swell.co.uk

5.You have recently achieved CIC status. What does this mean for Ground Swell?
As a Community Interest Company we are a non-profit making company and all our documents are public. We wanted to set up in this way from the start so we had total clarity over how we operated. I personally think you need this when working in the way that we are.

6. Who else is helping you to run it?
We have a board of members; this includes me, Pete, Josh Hughes and Ben Jones. But it is really up to our members to let us know what they want to do, and if they need help with anything, we are simply there to get the ball rolling.

7. Tell us about some of the current projects and also ones you have planned for the future?
Since the start of the year we have run a number of free advanced coaching sessions with top pro surfer Micah Lester, run all girls youth trips to Spain, trained people to become surf coaches and beach lifeguards, we have had video editing workshops in Plymouth for the guys and girls to edit their own surf DVD and a trip over to France.

The list of future projects is endless and getting bigger all the time! We have just helped launch a new Social Marketing company called Verb, which has been set up by one of our members. We will guide and nurture the business through its first few years. The best thing is it is all free for our members, so the boundaries of finance and social backgrounds are blown away.

8. Are the members just for young surfers from the South West?
Members are under 25 years old, male and female and from all over Europe.

9. Are you looking for support from surf businesses? If so, what help are you looking for?
We are looking for partnerships in and outside of the surf industry, so if companies want to offer work experience placement, or need surf coaches or would simply like to support the foundation then we would welcome that.

10. How do people join Ground Swell?
Easy, it costs nothing and you can join us on Facebook or better still on our own Ground Swell network which is www.ground-swell.co.uk. The only thing we ask of our members is that they bring some great ideas and dreams to the table!

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